Whanganui - Manawatu

Palmerston North is a key university city, noted for its agricultural faculty, in a rich farming district. To the west, Whanganui lies at the mouth of the Whanganui river.

Located in the lower North Island, the region is named after its two main rivers. The Whanganui to the north and west is the country’s longest navigable river. The Manawatu in the south east creates a large fertile plain and runs through the largest city, Palmerston North (population 80,000). Palmerston North is about seven hour’s drive from Auckland and two hours from Wellington.

Statistics

Population

222,669

% born outside NZ:

14%

Average house price March 2016:

Palmerston North $306,609
Whanganui $190,576

Median Wage

$39,260

Palmerston North is widely known as a ‘student city’ and around 40% of its population either work at or attend the university and other educational institutions. The mix of farming industries nearby has made the city a particularly valuable hub for agriculturally-based education which in turn supports a significant number of science and research facilities in the region.

Palmerston North is also close to the National Air Force base at Ohakea and to Linton Army Camp.

Whanganui city (population 39,000) functions mainly as a service centre for its surrounding farming district.

The region’s landscape spans mountain ranges, the spectacular Manawatu Gorge, picturesque farmland, coastal plains and beaches.

With its many students and defence personnel, Whanganui-Manawatu is a relatively young and vibrant region. Housing is relatively affordable and lifestyle living has become increasingly popular. Many people commute into Palmerston North or Whanganui for work, shopping or entertainment.

The region includes the west coast beaches which are popular for swimming, fishing, boating and other water sports, as well as the bush clad Tararua ranges, popular for tramping and walking. The region also offers a range of adventure tourism activities including white water rafting.

The mainstays of the local economy are education, associated agricultural research, defence plus agriculture itself, mainly dairy farming, cropping, vegetables, sheep and beef. Due to its strategic location in the lower North Island, Palmerston North is also increasingly an important hub for logistics and distribution.

Whanganui-Manawatu enjoys a comparatively mild climate with greater extremes inland. In summer the region is warm, with a maximum mid-summer daily average of between 20-23°C.

In the winter the minimum mid-winter daily average for coastal areas (including Whanganui) is 4-8°C, while inland areas including Palmerston North are considerably colder.

Many migrants have already made Whanganui - Manawatu home. The table below shows where these migrants are moving from and demonstrates the diverse population you can expect to find in Whanganui - Manawatu.

It can be comforting to know there are others, similar to you, who have experienced the move.

table caption

Country of origin

No. of migrant

UK and Ireland

10,509

Asia 

7,428

Pacific Islands 2,859
Australia 2,826
Middle East and Africa 2,361

Now that you know about what Whanganui - Manawatu has to offer, have a read about everyday life in the region, and services and support you can access.

In this section:

  • Employment

    Check out the local job market, find out who can help with your job search and where to start looking.

  • Information & advice

    Where to go for information, help and support with personal, family, migrant or legal issues.

  • Housing

    What will you pay? Where do you start looking? What about power, water and rubbish? Find out here.

  • Learning English

    Find out more about your options for English language courses.

  • Recreation

    Connect with the sport, culture, entertainment and shopping options available in the region.

  • Education

    Check out the local education facilities - schools, tertiary, English language courses and more.

  • Healthcare

    Find the doctors, dentists, after hours and emergency health services available in the region.

  • Community services

    Get transport information, access government offices, learn about safety in NZ and find family support services here.

Events for new migrants
Events

Upcoming events in your region

Events for new migrants are regularly held throughout the country. Gain local insight into finding a job and getting setup and settled in New Zealand.

View events calendar

Interested in coming to New Zealand?

Register with us and you’ll receive great info on jobs and upcoming events.

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Page last updated: 05/09/2016

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